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Ultimate Guide to Koh Tao Snorkeling in Thailand

Ultimate Guide to Koh Tao Snorkeling in Thailand

Dive into the azure waters of Koh Tao, Thailand’s snorkelling paradise. Here, you can appreciate captivating marine life, from the smallest vibrant fish to the majestic coral formations up close! 

In this guide, get ready to uncover the hidden treasures that lie beneath the waves in Koh Tao. Discover the best snorkelling spots, essential tips, and everything you need to make the most of your aquatic escapade in this tropical haven.

Time zone

Indochina Time (GMT+7)

Best Time to Go 

Best Time to Go
(Image source: iStock)

Koh Tao’s optimal snorkelling season typically spans from March to September, during the dry season. These months boast calm waters, excellent visibility, and warm temperatures, offering the ideal conditions to explore the underwater wonders. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that weather patterns can vary, so checking local forecasts before your trip is a smart move.

Things to Know 

Things to Know
(Image source: iStock)

Language: Thai

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Reef-Safe Sunscreen: Protect the marine environment by using reef-safe sunscreen to prevent harmful chemicals from harming the coral reefs.

Snorkelling Gear: Consider bringing your own snorkelling gear for comfort and familiarity. If not, you can easily rent equipment from local shops.

Respect Marine Life: Observe marine life from a distance and avoid touching or disturbing the creatures and coral. This preserves their natural habitat.

Underwater Photography: Capture memories without causing harm. Avoid touching or moving marine life for the perfect shot.

Guided Tours: Join guided snorkelling tours led by experts who know the best spots and safety measures to ensure an enjoyable experience.

Weather Check: Keep an eye on weather forecasts, as conditions can change. Optimal snorkelling months on Koh Tao are typically from March to September during the dry season.

Safety First: Practise snorkelling in calm waters and avoid strong currents. Familiarise yourself with safety techniques and guidelines.

Hydration and Sun Protection: Stay hydrated and wear protective clothing, like rash guards or hats, to shield yourself from the sun.

Responsible Tourism: Dispose of your trash responsibly and avoid stepping on or damaging coral reefs. Leave only footprints, take only memories.

Why Snorkel in Koh Tao

Why Snorkel in Koh Tao
(Image source: iStock)

Koh Tao’s vibrant and diverse coral reefs come to life in clear waters, showcasing nature’s artistry through intricate formations of colour and texture. 

As you submerge yourself, you’ll be surrounded by a kaleidoscope of marine creatures – from playful clownfish to majestic parrotfish – darting among the corals. 

Koh Tao’s pristine waters offer unparalleled visibility, allowing you to observe marine life and coral formations in their truest form.

Whether you’re a novice or experienced snorkeler, Koh Tao’s accessibility ensures that everyone can partake in these underwater adventures. 

The island offers a variety of snorkelling sites suitable for different skill levels, ensuring an experience tailored to your comfort and expertise. The moments spent snorkelling in Koh Tao are etched into memory. 

Beyond the adventure, snorkelling in Koh Tao fosters a profound connection with nature. As you float amid the marine life, you become part of their world, gaining a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of the ocean’s ecosystems. 

Price of a Koh Tao Snorkeling Tour

Price of a Koh Tao Snorkeling Tour
(Image source: iStock)

Prices for snorkelling tours in Koh Tao can vary based on factors such as tour duration, inclusions, and group sizes. Half-day tours might range from 700 THB to 1,500 THB, while full-day options could cost between 1,500 THB and 2,800 THB.

On average, expect to pay around 800 to 1,000 THB for a guided snorkelling experience. 

While budget-friendly options are available, some tours might offer additional perks like equipment rental, meals, and even underwater photography.

Best Koh Tao Snorkeling Tours

Coral Grand Divers Snorkel Tour


As one of Koh Tao’s seasoned dive shops, Coral Grand Divers’ expertise shines through. Exploring the stunning bays, you’ll be treated to a mesmerising display of sea life. 

Onboard, you’ll enjoy delicious food and refreshing drinks, ensuring you stay energised throughout the adventure. The highlight? Receiving the pictures captured during the day – the icing on the cake for a perfect day!

But wait, it gets better. Organised to perfection, your snorkelling tour with Coral Grand Divers will lead you to the best snorkelling spots.

We Travel Snorkeling & Tour


With We Travel Snorkeling & Tour, you get to explore the vibrant coral reefs of Koh Tao from the comfort of an exceptional snorkelling boat. There are thrilling amenities that come with this boat – think water slides, climbing walls, and even a diving board, promising loads of fun!

And here’s the best part: you’re in expert hands with guides who are experienced and multilingual, ensuring your safety and enjoyment. 

Your all-inclusive package covers everything you need – from a satisfying lunch and tasty snacks to essential equipment, insurance, convenient transfers, and even the Koh Nang Yuan Marine Park Fee. 

The day’s plan fits seamlessly into your pace, with flexible pickup or meeting options. The roomy boat, splendid snorkelling sites, and reasonable pricing were commendable. 

Despite a minor flipper rental charge, your overall experience will be absolutely fantastic.

Impian Divers Guided Snorkel Tour


Looking to explore the underwater wonders without scuba diving (row 627)? Look no further than Impian Divers’ officially recognized Snorkel Course program. 

Their commitment to quality training ensures you can safely admire coral and fish from the surface of the water. This is perfect for those who aren’t quite ready for a diving course, which offers a confidence boost that’ll leave you hungry for more aquatic adventures.

What’s even better? Everything you need is included – from the snorkel course textbook and certification to top-notch equipment like snorkel masks, flippers, and wetsuits. 

As a Dutch eco dive centre on Koh Tao, Impian Divers’ commitment to the ocean’s well-being shines through. They offer personal guidance for an unforgettable adventure, making your diving journey a memorable one. 

Their management and experienced multilingual dive instructors add a friendly and cultured touch.

While Impian Divers primarily caters to Dutch and Belgian divers, their international spirit embraces all adventurers. Diving lessons are available in English and French, making them an inclusive haven for anyone looking to explore the wonders of the deep. 

Black Turtle Dive – Snorkel Koh Tao


With an array of reputable half-day and full-day snorkel tour operators available year-round, you’re in for a treat. 

These tours offer top-notch snorkelling gear and the expertise of professional guides who lead you to not one, but five of the best snorkelling locations around Koh Tao.

And here’s the icing on the cake: these snorkel trips include refreshments and lunch onboard, ensuring you’re well taken care of throughout the day. 

Whether you’re new to snorkelling or looking to experience the marine world anew, these tours offer fantastic value for a day filled with marine marvels and fun.

If you’re the adventurous type, you can even organise your very own snorkel trip. A longtail taxi boat will whisk you away to some of the best snorkelling spots, including the iconic Koh Nang Yuan, Mango Bay, and Lighthouse Bay. 

Best Spots to Snorkel in Koh Tao

Shark Bay


Shark Bay is a snorkeler’s dream come true. Beyond its breathtaking coral formations and crystal-clear waters, this bay offers the exciting opportunity to witness blacktip reef sharks in their natural habitat. 

While these sharks are generally harmless, observing them up close is an exhilarating experience that adds an element of adventure to your snorkelling excursion. 

The bay’s vibrant marine life, coupled with the chance to see these magnificent creatures, makes Shark Bay a must-visit spot for both novice and experienced snorkelers alike.

Aow Leuk Bay


For a tranquil and captivating snorkelling experience, Aow Leuk Bay beckons with its serene waters and thriving marine ecosystem. As you dip beneath the surface, you’ll be greeted by a colourful tapestry of coral reefs teeming with an array of tropical fish species. 

But, for us, what sets Aow Leuk Bay apart is its occasional visits from gentle sea turtles!

Gliding gracefully through the water, these majestic creatures enhance the wonder of your snorkelling journey, creating unforgettable moments that will stay with you long after you leave the bay.

Tanote Bay


Tanote Bay presents a visual spectacle beneath its turquoise surface. The bay’s diverse coral formations provide a bustling habitat for an impressive variety of marine life. 

As you explore the underwater world, you’ll find yourself surrounded by schools of vibrant fish that dart among the corals, creating a dynamic and lively environment.

Tanote Bay’s underwater charm captivates both seasoned snorkelers and newcomers, offering a unique opportunity to witness the island’s marine diversity firsthand.

Japanese Garden


The allure of Japanese Gardens lies in its intricate underwater landscape resembling a tranquil garden. 

Named for its resemblance to a traditional Japanese garden, this snorkelling site boasts a mesmerising array of hard and soft corals, forming a colourful tapestry beneath the waves. 

The shallow depths make it an ideal spot for beginners, while the vibrant marine life, including clownfish, parrotfish, and butterflyfish, ensures a delightful experience for snorkelers of all skill levels.

Mango Bay


Mango Bay offers a combination of serenity and marine diversity. The bay’s calm waters provide an idyllic setting for snorkelling, allowing you to explore the underwater world at a leisurely pace. 

Beneath the surface, you’ll encounter a diverse array of marine life, from curious pufferfish to schools of fusilier fish. 

The bay’s coral formations, varying in shapes and sizes, add to the enchanting experience, making Mango Bay an excellent choice for those seeking a tranquil yet captivating snorkelling adventure

Hin Wong Bay


Hin Wong Bay stands out with its rugged beauty and unique snorkelling opportunities. Accessible by a scenic drive and a short hike, this bay offers a different perspective of Koh Tao’s marine life. 

The rocky coastline and clear waters reveal a world of colourful corals and fish species. Snorkelling here feels like stepping into an underwater sanctuary, where you can observe marine creatures in their natural habitat amid the bay’s captivating underwater topography.

Lighthouse Beach


Lighthouse Bay lives up to its name by shedding light on Koh Tao’s marine treasures. Nestled against a backdrop of lush hills, this bay offers an immersive snorkelling experience. 

Beneath the surface, you’ll find a mix of hard and soft corals, along with a plethora of marine life. The bay’s relatively shallow depths make it an ideal spot for snorkelers of all levels. 

As you navigate through the underwater terrain, keep an eye out for colourful fish darting among the corals, creating an underwater spectacle that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

How to Get around Koh Tao

Motorbike or scooter rentals: One of the most convenient ways to explore the island, giving you the flexibility to reach various attractions.

Shared taxi and songthaews: Shared taxis and songthaews (pickup trucks with benches) offer easy transportation, especially if you’re travelling with a group.

Walking and hiking trails: Discover the island’s beauty on foot by exploring its walking trails and hiking routes, perfect for enjoying the scenery.

Bicycle rentals: Pedal your way around the island at your own pace, enjoying a leisurely and eco-friendly mode of transportation.

Longtail boat rentals: For beach hopping and island exploration, consider renting a longtail boat or joining organised boat tours.

Private boat charters: Enjoy a personalised experience by chartering a private boat, allowing you to explore secluded spots.

Tuk-tuks and local taxis: Grab a tuk-tuk or local taxi to reach various parts of the island with convenience.

ATV Rentals: Consider renting an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for an exciting and off-road exploration of the island’s trails and paths.

Where to Stay in Koh Tao

Sairee Cottage Diving

Address: 10, 1, Koh tao, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Phone: +6677456126

Pricing: ฿

Book Now

Sairee Cottage Diving gives off serene vibes. The crew here will make sure you’re having a blast. The rooms are comfy and neat – perfect for winding down after diving. 

You’re right by the beach, and there are heaps of food options around. If you’re a diver or just want that island life, this spot’s golden.

Monkey Flower Villas

Monkey Flower Villas
(Image source: Monkey Flower Villas)

Address: 19, 6, Tambon Koh Tao, Koh Tao, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Phone: +66924231639

Pricing: ฿฿฿

Book Now

Staying at Monkey Flower Villas is a delightful experience. The villas are charming and thoughtfully designed, providing a comfortable and serene atmosphere. 

The lush surroundings added to the tranquillity and the staff was attentive and provided excellent service. It’s an ideal choice for those looking for a peaceful getaway.

Ban’s Diving Resort

Address: 3, 1, Ko Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Phone: +66819798025

Pricing: ฿฿

Book Now

Ban’s Diving Resort offers more than just diving. The rooms were clean and spacious, with beautiful views of the ocean. 

Its facilities are impressive, including the pools and the restaurant. The dive centre is well-organised, and the instructors here are patient and knowledgeable. 

It’s a great choice for both divers and those seeking a relaxing stay.

Cape Shark Pool Villas

Address: 10.064372, 99.838327 Koh Tao, 84280, Thailand

Phone: +6677457121

Pricing: ฿฿

Book Now

Cape Shark Pool Villas dialled up the luxury. You’re in for an absolute treat with your stay at this villa – it’s a gem that will make you feel right at home.

And that view? Oh, get ready to have your breath taken away. It also has a kitchen that’s stocked with all the gear you’ll need, down to the last utensil. 

The private infinity pool overlooking the sea lives up to the stunning photos, and the convenience of room service ensures delectable dishes delivered to your doorstep. 

Dining on the terrace adds a touch of heaven, and the in-room mini bar is a thoughtful addition. The journey here might be an adventure with its steep road and slope, but once you lay eyes on that view, every effort is justified. 

For island exploration, keep some taxi funds on hand, and note that the hotel offers free shuttles for hassle-free island hopping.

Koh Tao Heritage

Koh Tao Heritage
(Image source: Koh Tao Heritage)

Address: Ko Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand

Phone: +66862793729

Pricing: ฿

Book Now

Set in a prime spot at the beginning of the beach, Koh Tao Heritage is close to restaurants and shopping establishments.The location was peaceful, providing a sense of tranquillity away from the crowds. 

The traditional Thai-style bungalows are cosy and charming, surrounded by lush greenery. The beds and rooms are also delightful, offering comfort and cosiness.

Plus, there’s a laundry service that came in handy and a taxi service during checkout hours. And let’s not forget the diverse buffet breakfast – it was a real treat.

Where to Eat in Koh Tao

Bambu – A Taste of Burma

Bambu - A Taste of Burma
(Image source: wasabikimji)

Address: Lotus, Walking St, Tambon Ko Tao, Koh tao, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 12 PM to 10  PM

Pricing: ฿

This gem offers an exceptional fusion of Burmese cuisine that’s a true treat for the senses. From flavorful curries to traditional dishes, the flavours are authentic and unforgettable. 

The cosy ambiance and friendly service enhance the dining experience, making it a must-visit for those seeking a unique culinary adventure

While they used to be renowned for their tofu burgers, it’s worth noting that they’ve switched things up a bit. 

Unfortunately, you won’t find classic continental items like burgers and cheesy fries on the menu anymore. Instead, they’re exclusively serving delectable Burmese dishes now.

Dee Dee Thai Food

Dee Dee Thai Food
(Image source: Dee Dee Thai Food)

Address: 48 / 1 Chalok Naan Kao Chalok Koh Tao Koh Phangan, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 8:30 AM to 10  PM


Dee Dee Thai Food serves up dishes bursting with traditional flavours that will transport you to the heart of Thai cuisine. From aromatic curries to mouthwatering street food favourites, the menu offers a diverse range of options. 

The friendly atmosphere and affordable prices make it a go-to spot for an authentic culinary journey.

Plus, the green curry, red curry, and mango sticky rice were beyond incredible. And don’t worry, the prices are as good as the flavours. 

Charcoal Bay Wine & Grill, Koh Tao, Thailand

Address: 10/54 Sairee Beach Koh Tao, 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 11:30 AM to 10  12 AM

Pricing: ฿฿


With its selection of premium cuts and delectable seafood, this restaurant elevates dining on the island. 

The beachside setting adds to the ambiance, creating a perfect backdrop for a memorable meal. From succulent steaks to fresh catches, this spot offers a blend of flavours that’s sure to impress.

But the magic doesn’t stop there – enjoy a vibrant happy hour and a tantalising cocktail selection as you watch the sun dip below the horizon. 

Legend Thai and Burmese food

Address: Sairee, Lotus, Walking St, Koh Tao, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 10 AM to 11 PM

Pricing: ฿

Legend Thai and Burmese food’s menu showcases a rich blend of Thai and Burmese flavours, providing a unique fusion that captures the essence of both cultures. 

They have everything from aromatic curries to flavorful noodles — the dishes here are a harmonious dance of tastes. The warm hospitality and diverse menu make it a must-try for food enthusiasts.

The Mohinga, a flavorful dish, requires pre-ordering, and it’s worth every effort – a must-try that leaves a lasting impression. 

Ananas Restaurant

Address: Ko Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 11:30  AM to 9:30 PM

Pricing: ฿


The Ananas Restaurant captures the essence of Thailand’s flavours in a cosy, authentic setting – a charming hideaway where the service comes with a friendly smile and a backdrop of light background music.

While they offer tempting western choices like juicy burgers, it’s the mind-blowing flavours of their Thai offerings that steal the show.

Where to Shop in Koh Tao

Smile Mart

Smile Mart
(Image source: Chom.C Baroque)

Address: 35/88 Moo 1, Koh Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 24 hours

Smile Mart is a 24/7 charming store that offers a wide range of products.It’s your go-to place for essentials, and the best part – the prices are incredibly wallet-friendly.

From snacks to supplies, the store has got you covered. Equipped with both baskets and carts, your shopping experience is tailored for maximum ease. 

The Iyara Souvenir Koh Tao

The Iyara Souvenir Koh Tao
(Image source: The Iyara Souvenir Koh Tao )

Address: 9, 43, Ko Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 10 AM to 10 PM

The Iyara Souvenir Koh Tao is a treasure trove of souvenirs and mementos that capture Koh Tao’s unique charm. From clothing and accessories to quirky keepsakes, the diverse selection ensures there’s something for everyone.

You’ll find that its vibrant atmosphere and variety make it a go-to for memorable takeaways—a must if you’re looking for a trinket to remember your Koh Tao escapade!

Mermaid Shop Koh Tao 

Address: Sairee Beach Road, Koh Tao, Amphoe Ko Pha-ngan, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 10 AM to 8 PM

Mermaid Shop Koh Tao is your ultimate destination for all things free diving, offering an impressive range of equipment for both rental and purchase. 

Located on Sairee Beach, it’s a rare find that rents out freediving fins per day, specialising mostly in Leaderfins with various sizes and materials. The attentive staff ensures you find the perfect fit while providing expert advice.

That’s not all – they even sell ocean-friendly sunscreen to align with your responsible diving practices. And of course, bikinis!

Koh Tao Divers – KTD

Koh Tao Divers - KTD
(Image source: Koh Tao Divers – KTD)

Address: Haad Sairee 1/1 Moo 1, Ko Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 9 AM to 6 PM

Koh Tao Divers – KTD caters to diving enthusiasts, offering a range of dive gear, clothing, and accessories. 

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or new to the scene, the knowledgeable staff can guide you in finding the right equipment. The shop’s dedication to quality and expertise makes it a reliable stop for diving essentials.

ChaiWat Supermarket 

ChaiWat Supermarket
(Image source: ChaiWat Supermarket )

Address: 26/6 Moo 3 Koh Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 8 AM to 8 PM

ChaiWat Supermarket stands as a reliable shopping haven for all your daily needs. Nestled in the heart of Koh Tao, this supermarket offers a wide range of products to cater to both locals and visitors. 

From fresh produce to household essentials, you’ll find everything conveniently under one roof. Whether you’re stocking up on snacks for your beach day or seeking ingredients for a homemade meal, ChaiWat Supermarket has you covered.

Its central location ensures easy access, making it a convenient stop to satisfy your shopping needs on the island.

Pen Wholesale Supermarket

Pen Wholesale Supermarket
(Image source: Chom.C Baroque)

Address: 3 RMG+8R7 Unnamed Road Ko Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 8:30 AM to 8 PM

When it comes to bulk shopping and wholesale purchases, Pen Wholesale Supermarket is your go-to destination. This supermarket is a treasure trove for those looking to buy in larger quantities without compromising on variety. 

From pantry staples to toiletries and beyond, you’ll discover an array of options to choose from. If you’re a business owner, event planner, or simply someone who enjoys getting the best deals, you’ll find great deals here. 

With competitive prices and a wide selection, it’s an ideal place to find what you need in bulk on Koh Tao.

What to Expect from Koh Tao’s Weather

What to Expect from Koh Tao’s Weather
(Image source: iStock)

Dry Season (January to April): During these months, Koh Tao enjoys pleasant weather with minimal rainfall. The skies are generally clear, and the seas are calm, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities, snorkelling, and diving (row 649). 

Temperatures range from comfortable to warm, creating perfect conditions for exploring the island’s beauty.

Hot Season (March to May): As the dry season progresses, temperatures rise, and the heat can become quite intense, especially in April. 

This period is great for sunbathing and enjoying the beaches, but it’s essential to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

Rainy Season (October to November): The rainy season brings more frequent showers and occasional thunderstorms. While some activities might be affected, the island’s lush landscape comes alive with vibrant colours. 

Diving and snorkelling are still possible, but it’s advisable to check weather forecasts and sea conditions before planning water activities.

Transition Season (November): November marks the transition from the rainy season to the dry season. While occasional rain showers might still occur, the weather gradually becomes more stable. 

This period offers a quieter and less crowded experience on the island, making it an attractive time for those seeking a peaceful getaway.

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